UTPA summer academic camps offered for area high school students
Posted: 05/27/2005
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The campus of The University of Texas-Pan American will welcome an additional 325 students this summer to a series of academic camps designed for high school students.

The camps, which will be held during the month of June, have been planned by the Pre-College Academic Programs (PCAP) office of the UTPA Valley Outreach Center (VOC) in collaboration with several academic departments at the University.

"The camps will provide students with a taste of college life while expanding career horizons through hands-on learning," said Lisa Prieto, VOC associate director.

The residential camps are planned for June 5-9 (engineering), June 12-16 (engineering, nursing, astronomy, leadership), June 19-23 (engineering, clinical lab sciences, computer science), and June 26-30 (engineering, leadership, computer science). Each camp will serve about 25 students. Non-residential physics day camps have also been planned for the weeks of June 20-23 and June 27-30.

"We've been working with school district partners to register students for specific camps for select populations of students," Prieto said. According to Prieto, the week of June 12-16 has been reserved for participants in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Program, which is funded through a grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The engineering, clinical lab sciences and physics camps have been reserved for students from schools that recently received science education grants from the Texas Education Agency.

Registration is still open for the computer science and leadership camps being offered during the last two weeks of June. Thanks to UTPA institutional enhancement funding, the cost per participant has been held to $150 per camp, which covers room and board, residence hall advisers, program assistants, meals and program supplies. UTPA faculty from the respective academic departments are leading each camp at a greatly reduced cost in order to insure that students have access to the valuable learning experiences that await them, Prieto said.

Gustavo Dietrich, a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, said the Computer Science Camp provides an opportunity for his department to better prepare students for the future.

"Our objective is to develop an awareness of the expanding role of computer and information technology in our youth and to enhance their computer skills demanded more and more by a technological society," he said. Class participants will be taught Web searching techniques, use of advanced features in Microsoft Office Suite; and an introduction to C++ programming. Other camps include such activities as building and testing an electric car, learning basic nursing skills and receiving CPR certification or investigating a crime scene and performing a forensic analysis.

For more information about the PCAP Academic Summer Camps, please contact the Valley Outreach Center at 956/292-7597 or visit for details and downloadable registration forms.